Friends pray as Biloela family prepares for final hearing
FRIENDS of a Biloela family seeking asylum last night prayed for the Sri Lankan family's release, ahead of today's final Federal Court hearing.
The family will learn their fate today during a hearing centred around an application for asylum for two-year-old Tharunicaa, the daughter of Priya and Nades and sibling to Kopika, 4.
The family has been detained in Melbourne since March last year, after they were taken from their Biloela home in a dawn raid, after Priya's bridging visa expired. Last night prayer vigils were held around the country, giving the family's supporters one last chance to call for the government to release them back to Biloela.
On Saturday morning the Tamil family was relocated to Christmas Island.
Yesterday, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese joined the calls for the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to intervene in this case.
"We wouldn't be changing any of the government's policies in order to have a bit of common sense for Peter Dutton to say ... 'it's in the best interest to have these people stay here'," Mr Albanese told 2GB.
Mr Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have however made their positions clear, with the Prime Minister saying on Monday that intervening with the family's deportation would send "the wrong message".
Meanwhile, earlier this week, an immigration lawyer who worked with the past 10 immigration ministers, Simon Jeans, told ABC that several errors were made in the family's bid to stay in Australia.
He said the family have not been truthful in visa applications and said evidence suggested they came to Australia in 2012 and 2013 by boat as economic refugees.
According to court documents from June last year, Nades claimed he was forced to join the LTTE in 2001. However, he travelled between Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Qatar between 2004 and 2010 for work, during the civil war.
"Anyone who was associated with the LTTE or was suspected of being with the LTTE, would not have been coming and going into Sri Lanka," Mr Jeans said.